Twelve Work-Life Balance Tips for Employees

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Work-Life Balance Tips for Employees - Road signs with the words "Life, Balance & Work"
Ruth AlbertsonRuth Albertson
October 17, 2021
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Although work-life balance is not a new subject, it is one that holds far greater importance for many employees these days than it once did. While technology has eased or sped up many jobs, it has also created environments that make it hard for employees to unplug from work. Email, texting, video conferencing, and remote work have made it increasingly difficult for individuals working in a variety of sectors to relax after work. Even those who do not have desk jobs and who are front-line workers find themselves working longer hours and taking on more tasks than ever before.

Work-Life Balance Tips for Employees

It may be more difficult for employees to create a healthy work-life balance these days, but it is not impossible. These tips for balancing work hours and personal time are great starting points for those wanting to open up a discussion with their employers or those who want to improve their after-work self-care routines.

1. Balance Working Hours with Personal Time

Balancing between work and life

Depending on your personality, it may be difficult to work within a strict schedule. This is especially true if you work remotely and enjoy a great deal of freedom in how you order your day. While schedules may seem to limit your freedom, they can actually help you relax and enjoy more freedom by organizing your day. You will know when to start work, when to stop and when to take breaks. This will make it easier to see exactly how many hours you are putting into work each day and will give you the reason you need to kick back and relax once work has ended.

2. Leave Work at the Office or Your Desk

Once you have made your schedule, you must not allow any work to bleed into your personal hours. This can be especially difficult if you are currently working from home and your desk and computer are used for both business and pleasure. Find a drawer or shelf that you can designate for work, and load your papers and work supplies into that space at the end of the day. When it is family time, do not feel guilty about leaving work behind for the day and investing in your loved ones.

3. Take Time Away From Screens and Videos

Man stressed with screens

Whether you are back in the office or working from home, you most likely spend a great deal of time in front of screens each day, especially as the benefits of virtual reality in business become more well-known. Video conferencing is becoming increasingly common. In fact, it is so common that you may find yourself spending hours in front of a video camera every day. Instead of using your energy this way, set aside specific chunks of each day for video conferences, and opt for voice calls from time to time.

4. Take Short but Frequent Breaks

It may seem counterintuitive to take breaks when you are in a work groove, but even a 10-minute break can bring numerous benefits. Getting up from your desk and away from your computer gives you a chance to stretch your legs, rest your eyes and spend time thinking about something else. In fact, this can boost creativity and may make your work just a bit easier when you get back to your desk.

5. Understand Your Best Working Times

Depending on your personality and your chronotype, which is your genetic predisposition to being a morning person or a night owl, your best and most creative working times could be in the morning, the afternoon or the evening. You most likely already know when you are at your sharpest. Perhaps you love getting up early to tackle tough jobs before the rest of your family is up, or you may feel as if you get a second wind every evening after supper. If your workplace encourages employees to set flexible hours, you may be able to choose work hours that fit your personal life perfectly.

6. Focus on Both Physical and Mental Health

Woman doing yoga

It is easy to focus on your work hours as you consider improving your work-life balance at the expense of your personal time. However, you must also consider your physical health and mental health when you are away from your desk. Eating nutritiously is vital for keeping you healthy and giving you the energy you need. Regular cardiovascular exercise can decrease stress by raising endorphins, which are feel-good hormones.

7. Make Self-Care a Priority

Although you may initially feel guilty about focusing so much time on yourself after your work hours, you must take care of your own body and mind in order to have the energy and mental space to care for others in your life. Schedule downtime on the weekends if possible to do something that you find relaxing. Take at least a half hour each evening to take a bath, read a book, take a walk in nature or do something else that refreshes you.

8. Do Not Be Afraid to Set Boundaries When Working From Home

Healthy boundaries with other team members are important wherever you work, but they are vital if you are currently working from home. As previously discussed, it can be easy to let work and personal hours bleed together. When your employer cannot see you face-to-face, he may pile more work on you than you can handle without realizing it. If this has happened, have an honest conversation with your boss during which you set boundaries and let him know what you can and cannot fit into your daily work hours.

9. Say No to Increase Your Time and Energy

Similarly, it can be difficult to tell your boss no. You may worry that your boss will get a bad impression of you or that your job will be in jeopardy if you do not overextend yourself and keep him happy. However, a good employer will appreciate a respectful no once in a while if it means that you will be able to do even better at the work you have already accepted.

10. Have an Open Conversation With Your Manager

Employee working with Manager

If you have found yourself working increasingly longer hours and simply do not know how to get your work and personal life back on track, an honest conversation with your manager may give you guidance and show you where to start as you revamp your schedule and workload. Your manager should be looking out for all the employees working for him and should be concerned both about the health of the company as a whole as well as your personal health.

11. Set Aside Dedicated Vacation Time

Taking that vacation time that you have accrued is a great way to get away from work fully for at least a few days. Do not let pressure from the office stop you from taking a break with your family. Instead of opting for one long vacation per year, try to break up your vacation days into two medium-length trips or even long weekends four or more times per year. You may be surprised at how much more motivated and creative you are once you get back to the office.

12. Find a Job You Love

Happy team

When you love your job, work feels a little less draining and rigorous and a bit more like something you enjoy doing. Although loving your job can make it easier to let your work bleed over into your personal life, it can also ensure that you stay mentally healthy even while giving your daily work your all. Although switching fields of work altogether may improve your work-life balance, simply switching to a different department or taking on a slightly different type of workload for the same company may be all you need to feel more empowered at the office and happier when you are off work.

Making your life at work easier, keeping your job completely separated from your personal life, and scheduling plenty of breaks both during your workdays and on vacations can help you finally achieve a work-life balance. E-marketing companies are here to help you achieve more with your business in less time, letting you take more time away from work while still accomplishing plenty when on the job. Contact E-Marketing Associates today for website design, SEO, social media management, and more to help your small business grow.

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